Theatre Review: Fascinating and unique experience with Tiny Dynamite Theater Company
Tiny Dynamite Theater Company’s new Producing Artistic Director, the highly regarded K.C. MacMillan opens her tenure with a delightful piece of theater, THE ART OF SWIMMING by Irish playwright, Lynda Radley.
The patrons last night at the HeadHouse Café second floor were treated to a fascinating, unique performance from the charming, Lee Minora and the musically talented Daniel Ison.
In this basically one woman play, Lee Minora plays both the playwright and Mercedes Gleitze, the first British woman to swim the English Channel. Minora slips with great facility between the two characters. She does an amazing job delineating the characters from the bookish playwright, Lynda Radley and the driven, singularly focused, Mercedes Gleitze. I had no trouble identifying who was talking and the playwright did a good job keeping the segments to an enjoyable length. Ms. Minora is especially charming while inhabiting the character of Gleitze. She embraces the character’s thought process, giving us insight into the discipline that is necessary for someone to accomplish such an Herculean feat. She also captures the fear and doubt that Gleitze experienced along the way.
Another aspect of the play that I found interesting was the use of language. Lynda Radley imbues her play with a multitude of metaphors and similes initially to explain specific aspects of long distance swimming, but ultimately to emphasize the over arching metaphor of the play. It soars past the individual accomplishment of one woman to the fleeting nature of fame and the ability of one determined person to bring that fame back to life if only briefly.
Supporting Ms. MacMillan’s vision is the music of Daniel Ison who effortlessly punctuates the words of the play with his subtle instrumentations. In addition, Alyssandra Docherty’s lighting design nicely nuances the space as Ms. Minora races throughout the audience.
The American premiere of The Art of Swimming plays at the second floor of the HeadHouse Café, 122 Lombard Street until December 17th. Being part of A Play, A Pie and A Pint, you receive a slice of pie and a glass of beer or soda along with this wonderful one-hour experience in theater. For tickets and more information visit www.tinydynamite.org.